Laura, the 1944 noir film is a pleasure to watch. While it perhaps falls short of greatness, it goes far enough to make us understand that films are great and they can bring us and often do bring us this, almost unexplainable, torrent of emotion and joy.
Laura is a beautiful enigmatic ingenue that has been murdered violently and there is a desperate need to find some answers. There is general bleakness afoot and suspects abound. Everyone seemed to love Laura but no one could stand her. The detective trying to solve the case hasn't met Laura but that doesn't stop him from falling hopelessly in love with her.
The highlight of the film is Waldo Lydecker, Laura's mentor and guardian. In Waldo, the film has created the kind of character that lives on forever. You will never forget his character or the idea behind it anyway. The film might as well have been called Waldo played by a brilliantly unnerving Clifton Webb. Every word delivered by Waldo is laced with such utter sardonic wit that you cannot get enough of. It is beautiful and seductive - only like a poisonous snake can be.
As the plot slowly unravels and we learn more about the sordid drama and the unsavory characters amidst beautiful cinematography (which won an Oscar) and the haunting score, we cannot help but appreciate the craft of film-making.
Take time out to watch Laura - just like the detective - you may just fall in with this 72-year old film after all.